Fast Facts

Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Things you've always never wanted to know

  • A camel can lose up to 30 percent of its body weight in perspiration and continue to cross the desert. A human would die of heat shock after sweating away only 12 percent body weight.

  • Yuletide-named towns in the U.S. include Santa Claus, located in Arizona and Indiana, Noel in Missouri, and Christmas in Arizona and Florida.

  • In 1931, Lili de Alvarez was the first woman to wear shorts at Wimbledon.

  • ABC-TV's "Monday Night Football" premiered in September 1970. Its three original commentators were Keith Jackson, Don Meredith and Howard Cosell.

  • The first known item made from aluminum was a rattle - made for Napoleon III in the 1850s. Napoleon also provided his most honored guests with knives and forks made of pure aluminum. At the time, the newly discovered metal was so rare, it was considered more valuable than gold.

  • Actor Steve McQueen encouraged his karate teacher to pursue a career in acting. The teacher? Chuck Norris. McQueen is quoted as telling Norris, "If you can't do anything else, there's always acting."

  • In 1998, Gay Head lighthouse on Martha's Vineyard was changed to its original American Indian name, Aquinnah. The lighthouse is the largest on the island and guards treacherous shoals offshore, the Devil's Bridge.

  • Poison oak is not oak, poison ivy is not ivy. Both are members of the cashew family, Anacardiaceae.

  • A car traveling at a constant speed of 60 mph would take longer than 48 million years to reach the nearest star (other than our sun), Proxima Centauri. This is about 685,000 human lifetimes.

  • Because the eyes work harder when viewing objects up close, particularly on a computer monitor, it is the proximity of the screen to the eyes that causes eyestrain, not "radiation" emitted from the screen. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, using a computer or video display terminal will not harm your eyes.

  • During the wartime Academy Awards ceremony in 1943, the two servicemen who carried the American flag as Jeanette MacDonald sang the national anthem were Marine Pvt. Tyrone Power and Army Pvt. Alan Ladd.

  • About 75.6 million pumpkin pies are baked each winter holiday season in the U.S.